PETA Makes Offer To Help Bolster Tourism As Ireland Faces Financial Woes

For Immediate Release:
25 November 2010 

Sandra Smiley +44 (0)207 357 9229, ext 229

PETA has sent a letter to Sir Charles St John Colthurst, owner of Blarney Castle, and Mary Hanafin TD, Minister of Ireland’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, offering to make a donation to the government department in exchange for permission to hang a sign on Blarney Castle that reads, “Kiss Cruelty Goodbye: Go Vegan”. The offer comes in response to recent revelations that Ireland is being forced to request a financial bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures and home of the famous Blarney Stone, which is said to bestow the “gift of gab” upon anyone who kisses it. The castle has attracted millions of tourists from around the world and is the perfect location for PETA’s ad – as PETA points out, there are many benefits to kissing off animal-derived products in favour of a plant-based diet.

Accepting PETA’s donation would help Ireland’s tourist industry in a time of economic trouble, and the prominent location of the sign will help bring to light the terrible realities of the meat industry.

“The meat industry spends a vast amount of money advertising directly to the public, waxing lyrical about their unhealthy and cruel products”, says PETA’s Mimi Bekhechi. “But no amount of false information can romanticise the consumption of meat. The facts are absolutely clear: eating meat is bad for human health, catastrophic for the environment and a living nightmare for animals, and the best thing that anyone can do to save lives and the planet is to go vegan.”

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PETA’s letter to Sir Charles St John Colthurst and Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin follows.

Sir Charles St John Colthurst
Blarney Castle
Blarney, Co. Cork

Mary Hanafin, TD
Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport
Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport
23 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Via Email

24 November 2010

Dear Sir Charles and Ms Hanafin,

In light of news reports that Ireland will receive a bailout loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to shore up banks that are in danger of failing, I am writing on behalf of PETA with a proposal that could help defray a small portion of the debt. We are prepared to offer a donation to Ireland’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport if Sir Charles will permit us to place an ad on the side of Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone, that reads, “Kiss Cruelty Goodbye: Go Vegan”. (A mock up of what PETA’s ad would look like on Blarney Castle is attached.) The current financial crisis in Ireland will certainly have knock-on effects for tourism, one of Ireland’s major income-generating activities. This win-win solution would help generate tourism during this economic downturn whilst letting residents and tourists know that they can help animals simply by choosing the proper foods.

The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes that are depicted in meat, milk and egg adverts are just so much, if you will forgive the expression, blarney. On factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, farrowing crates and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise families, root in the soil, build nests or do anything that is natural and important to them. They won’t even feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.

We hope that the prominent location of our sign will help bring to light the terrible realities of the meat industry. Animals on factory farms are subjected to many abuses, including mutilations without any pain relief, selective breeding that cripples many animals and causes them chronic pain, transport through all weather extremes and gruesome and violent slaughter. Yet the farmed animals who are not protected from cruelty are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we cherish as our companions.

By kissing animal-derived products goodbye and choosing a plant-based diet, we can help protect the environment, our own health and animals. Vegan foods provide us with all the nutrients that we need, minus the saturated fat, cholesterol and contaminants that are found in meat, eggs and milk. Plant-based diets also help protect against heart disease, diabetes, obesity, strokes and cancer. Raising animals for food requires the ever-expanding consumption of our natural resources, leading to overgrazing and deforestation, while factory farming itself is a major contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions, groundwater pollution and a host of other environmental problems.

If erected, our banner would be a fun way to help the animals whilst brightening up a cherished Irish landmark and attracting more tourists to Cork. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss our proposal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Mimi Bekhechi
PETA Foundation